Building the Strong Foundation
Knowledge Quest Volume 45, Number 1, ISSN 1094-9046
J. Linda Williams was coordinator of school library services for Anne Arundel County Public Schools prior to her retirement. She served as AASL President 2005-2006 and is also a past president of the Maryland Association of School Librarians. Looking back on her 2005-2006 term as AASL President, Williams writes that she feels that particular year brought things into focus for AASL and school library programs and laid the foundation on which AASL built for the next ten years. School librarians had always faced critical issues and they often seem to be the same ones. It is slowly, very slowly if at all, that they made headway. Librarians had achieved small successes, but not nationally and not sustainably. Almost twenty years after the publication of "Information Power: Guidelines for School Library Media Program" (ALA 1988) and almost ten years after the second edition, "Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning" (ALA 1998), many of the same issues in addition to new ones were still on the agenda. Standards and guidelines were not widely accepted by the educational community, and the role of school librarians was often misunderstood or given no credibility. While there were critical challenges at the time, they do not seem so significant compared to some of the challenges faced today. ALA has made its presence known and forged partnerships with the other divisions, roundtables, and ALA leaders gaining their support and an understanding for ALA concerns. Williams closes by saying that to ensure that the school library remains an integral part of the educational process, school librarians must work collaboratively with teachers and administrators. She advocates school librarians continuing to take action to further stakeholders' understanding of school librarians' roles, and actively advocating for their profession within their school communities, as well as at the state and national level.
Williams, J.L. (2016). Building the Strong Foundation. Knowledge Quest, 45(1), 44-49.